How are states benefiting from health care reform?

How are states benefiting from health care reform?

According to a new research, states that expanded Medicaid experienced notably significant gains in health coverage for black and Hispanic individuals. According to a Pew Charitable Trusts survey, roughly 29 percent of state income in New York went for Medicaid payments. That's more than any other state except California. The study found that after two years, the number of people without health insurance dropped by 2.5 million, or 16 percent. In addition, those who were covered saw their costs go down because providers didn't have to treat so many uninsured patients.

The report also noted that Colorado, Minnesota, and Oregon benefited the most from increased federal funding for prevention and wellness programs.

"State governments were eager participants in Obama's expansion of Medicaid, which provides health coverage to millions of low-income Americans," the report said. "Nearly half of all newly insured people in 2014 got coverage through this program."

It also mentioned that Washington, D.C., received increased federal funding for its own version of Medicaid called DC Health Link. This program allows residents to enroll in Medicaid or Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Finally, the report noted that 10 states plus the District of Columbia had their premiums reduced by at least one company: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

What choices can states make that affect Medicaid benefits?

State Medicaid policy decisions (including the ACA coverage extension, other eligibility standards, scope of benefits, payment rates, and delivery system models) impact Medicaid expenditure, as do other factors such as demography, health needs, health care markets, and state fiscal capacity.

The federal government has considerable influence over state Medicaid policies. It provides 100% of the funds for new enrollees through 2014, but only 50% of existing program spending growth from 2010-2014. It also supplies funding to cover ongoing costs for current beneficiaries. However, it does not provide any funding for states that expand their Medicaid programs under the ACA. Instead, those funds must be obtained from other sources.

States can choose to receive 100% federal financing for new enrollees or some percentage less than 100%. They can also opt out of covering certain groups such as childless adults or individuals with income above a certain level. Finally, they can adopt different eligibility requirements and benefit levels depending on what options are chosen. For example, a state that covers all newly eligible individuals would likely spend more money on them due to greater need. Such a state could reduce its expenditures by limiting coverage to only serious illnesses or medical conditions.

Almost every State Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS) plan calls for reducing the federal share of Medicaid expenses over time in order to bring spending into line with the Medicare reimbursement rate for hospitals.

How does the Affordable Care Act reduce health disparities?

Furthermore, evidence demonstrates that the ACA Medicaid expansion to low-income people has improved access to and use of treatment across groups, as well as reduced gaps in health outcomes for Black and Hispanic persons, particularly for measures of...

The law requires insurance companies to offer coverage to all applicants, with few exceptions. It also requires them to accept all applicants, with few exceptions. This reduces the likelihood that an applicant will be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition or any other reason. In addition, the law creates financial incentives for insurers to cover more individuals from lower income families by charging them less than what it costs to provide coverage.

These and other provisions of the law will help to reduce racial disparities in health care by increasing health care coverage rates for African-Americans and others who have been historically excluded from quality health care services.

Source: New report shows effects of Affordable Care Act on reducing health disparities. Ed.gov, May 7, 2015.

How many states have not expanded?

A dozen states Currently, twelve states have not expanded Medicaid. Texas, Florida, and Georgia are the most populous, but there are a few outside of the South, including Wyoming and Kansas. More than 2 million people in the United States have no choice when it comes to health insurance. These people can be classified as being uninsured.

The federal government will not pay for any state that refuses to expand Medicaid. This means that if Alabama or Alaska decides not to participate, their residents will not be covered.

The reason many states have refused to expand Medicaid is because the federal government will not cover any costs that arise from new expenses or increased spending. However, any state that reduces its funding now will not be required to continue to do so going forward.

Because of this lack of protection, many states have decided that they cannot afford to expand Medicaid. They believe that if something happens to their current system, their families will be able to access adequate care through other channels. For example, some states may choose to fund emergency rooms at hospitals across the country. This way, if someone needs medical attention and can't pay, their family will not be denied care.

Other states may choose to protect themselves by only covering certain types of care or limiting how much providers can charge for services. Because these policies would be difficult or impossible to enforce, few states have taken this approach.

About Article Author

Johnathan Hansen

Dr. Hansen has worked in hospitals for over 20 years and is a highly respected surgeon. He specializes in orthopedic surgery, cancer treatment, and general surgical procedures.

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